No matter how many memes you throw at it or the revisionist history of The Clone Wars series, the prequels were a HUGE mess, an almost unwatchable mess.
The prequels need to be fixed. And that’s what I’m going to do.
A Tale of Two Padawans
You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you.Obi-Wan Kenobi, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
What We Have: The relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan is… fraught to say the least. They meet when Anakin is an annoying child and Obi-Wan is a teenager with an unfortunate haircut and by the time Episode II rolls around, Anakin is describing Obi-Wan as “like a father to [him].” Then Episode III overcorrects by trying to sell the “brotherly” angle and a little too hard. It just doesn’t work.
How We’re Fixing It: Make Anakin and Obi-Wan both padawans of Qui-Gon Jinn at the same time. I mean, Qui-Gon was already rebelling hard by taking on Anakin to begin with, having two padawans is just a small step up. Maybe it happens by necessity, with Anakin saving both Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon on Tattoine as a teenager or young twentysomething.
Then, throughout the trilogy, we compare and contrast Obi-Wan and Anakin more closely and on the same level. When Qui-Gon dies (and midway through Episode I this time as an Act 2 turning point), Anakin explodes with rage while Obi-Wan shoves it down and internalizes his grief. They lock horns when Anakin believes Obi-Wan isn’t even grieving at all until the latter finally lashes out with exactly how much he’s hurting.
This moment defines their entire relationship throughout the trilogy and defines them as characters. And it makes the final confrontation sting.
Shut Your Political Pie-Hole
I am the SenateEmperor Palpatine, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
What We Have: Meandering, hard-to-understand scenes about alien politics that are barely explained. How much power does a senator have? How do their powers coincide with that of local rulers? Is Padmé ever conflicted between her duties as a queen and her duty as a Senator? What role do the Jedi have in government? It was never exactly fully explained.
How We’re Fixing It: Take a look at the original trilogy. How much government fits into it? We see a little – the Grand Moffs (Moves?) discuss dissolving the senate in the first movie, Tattooine is held under martial law, and Darth Vader has to awkwardly answer to middle-management.
That’s exactly how much government should be in the prequels. No trade federation, no senate, no politically radical Jar Jar Binks. We, the audience, do not need to see how the Galactic Senate fell and became the Empire in microscopic minutia.
The movies should focus on only a few things: the fall of Anakin Skywalker, the relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan, Anakin’s romance with Padmé, and sweet laser-sword battles.
I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.Anakin Skywalker Episode II: Attack of the Clones
What We Have: Putting aside wooden acting and a clunky script and sand-hatred, let’s take a look at who Anakin Skywalker is as a person. He goes from gawkish socially awkward teen-slash-twentysomething to a homicidal maniac in movie-seconds. He might be an ace pilot and a genius inventor (somehow), he honestly doesn’t have much of a character and things just seem to happen around him.
How We’re Fixing It: The movies already might possibly imply the vaguest little idea of it, so let’s bring it to the forefront. Anakin is unusually strong in the Force and we’ve seen in the past that the Force can influence the mind of others. While we’d only seen it work on “the weak-minded”, is it that much of a leap to imagine a very, very strong Jedi being able to manipulate the mind of anyone?
Imagine it: Anakin is charming and friendly and seems to have a Mary Poppins-like ability to get what he wants. At first, it’s for the good of others, to help other people and to have a good time. Sometimes it might be a little selfish, he gets the best table for his and Padmé’s dates, he makes sure his speeder is well taken care of at the valet. But slowly, it becomes more horrifying.
Palpatine takes Anakin under his creepy cloak wing and teaches the Jedi that not only does he have this power, but he can control it willingly as opposed to the accidental uses before.
He manipulates government officials. He makes Obi-Wan agree with him. He orders Padmé to stop arguing and to say that she loves him. In fact, he may have been manipulating her into loving him since the beginning.
Over the course of the trilogy, we see the charismatic Ferris Bueller-like character become Jessica Jones‘s Killgrave.
That is how you build a villain. George Lucas, pay attention.
A Love Triangle (But You Know, If It Must Be Done)
What We Have: What we have is an age-old question, “Why in the hey did Padmé go for tiny baby Anakin (awkward) when Ewan McGreggor is RIGHT THERE?!”
How We’re Fixing It: But if we apply the above point of her maybe being Force’d into loving Anakin, we have a good answer. But lest we forget that Padmé is Natalie Portman, one of the most beautiful actresses in our generation.
What if a part of what tears apart Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship is that Obi-Wan is in love with Padmé too? And now that Anakin and Obi-Wan are around the same age, it’s less awkard.
He sees them together and thinks Anakin doesn’t deserve her. He finds out about the Force manipulation and he gets angry.
This is what leads to the final confrontation, THIS breaks them apart. Obi-Wan learns that he too was being manipulated the whole time and that Anakin had knowingly done it.
The finale is a crushing cavalcade of emotion, anger, betrayal, and yes.
Sweet Laser-Sword Battles.
Want More Star Wars?
- I Read a Bunch of Star Wars Novelizations So You Don’t Have To. A Review. (Part 1)
- I Read a Bunch of Star Wars Novelizations So You Don’t Have To. A Review. (Part 2, Rogue One)